An oft-heard comment is that ‘Storage People are weird/odd/strange’; what people really mean is that ‘Storage People are different’; Chuck sums up many of the reasons for this in his blog ‘My Continuing Infatuation with Storage‘.
Your Storage Team (and I include the BURA teams) often see themselves as the keepers to the kingdom, for without them and the services that they provide, your businesses will probably fail. They look after that which is most important to any business; its knowledge and its information. Problem is, they know it and most other people forget this; this has left many storage teams and managers with the reputation of being surly, difficult and weird but if you were carrying the responsibility for your company’s key asset, you’d be a little stressed too. Especially if no-one acknowledged it.
The problem is that for many years; companies have been hoarding corporate gold in dusty vaults which are looked after by orcs and dragons who won’t let anyone pass or access it but now people want to get access to the gold and make use of it. So now the storage team is having to not only worry about ensuring that the information is secure and maintained, people actually want to use it and want ad-hoc access to it, almost on demand.
Problem is that the infrastructures that we have in place today are not architected to allow this to happen and the storage teams do not have processes and procedures to allow this to happen. So today’s ‘Storage People maybe different’ but tomorrow’s ‘Storage People will be a different different’. They will need to be a lot more business focussed and more open; but that asset that they’ve been maintaining is growing pretty much exponentially in size and value; so expect them to become even more stressed and maybe even more surly.
That is unless you work closely with them to invest and build a storage infrastructure which supports all your business aspirations; unless vendors invest in technologies which are manageable at scale and businesses learn to appreciate value as opposed to sheer cost.
Open, accessible, available and secure; this is the future storage domain; let’s hope that the storage teams to support this also have these qualities.